Harrison officials seek CDBG funding

CADIZ – Harrison County commissioners Wednesday agreed to apply for Community Development Blocking funding that will help three communities improvements.

Jody Hennis, administrative assistant for Harrison County Community Improvement Corp., held the first public hearing for the 2013 program. Hennis said the county is eligible for grant allocations for three projects at $75,000 to $124,000 in CDBG funding. CDBG funding provides assistance to low- and moderate-income (LMI) neighborhoods throughout the county.

Hennis explained that in the past, the county has funded six projects, but under changes in the program, the projects are limited to three at $20,000, two at $30,000 or one at $60,000. Commission Chair Don Bethel explained that there were just three projects over the past four years exceeding the $20,000 ceiling.

Hennis explained that communities can group projects as long as all of them fall within their block and encouraged applicants to try and come up with a $20,000 total.

Applicants still must meet the LMI requirements, and several county villages and townships will not qualify.

Another change is the citizens participation plan which no longer requires publication in a local newspaper but new guidelines require providing copy to all entities and libraries.

Harrison County Sheriff Ronald J. Myers reported that the county’s speed trailer had been placed at the entrance to the Midstream construction site and in January, “20 shy of 41,000 vehicles drove into the facility.”

The trailer does not monitor outgoing traffic and since being placed late in November has monitored 97,1560 vehicles. “Most of them are going at or under the 25 mile per hour speed limit,” Sheriff Myers added.

Commissioners also approved a contract with the engineering firm of EMH&T to prepare plans for the rail crossing on the new road being constructed into the same M3 Midstream gas plant.

Doug Crabtree representing the County Engineer’s office said the engineering would cost the county $16,000. “The firm has worked in the area with the local railroad and is familiar with the proposed project and we feel this is the least expensive route.”

Midstream is covering all costs for the road construction including the engineering.

Crabtree also brought five road use agreements. The board approved agreement 5-13 with Chesapeake Exploration for North Township covering 1.5 mi. of CR 44, 0.2 mi. of CR 43 to access the William Phillips site. Agreement 6-13 for 1,8 mi. of CR 49, 1.0 mi. of CR 66. 7-13 for 1.1 mi. of CR 44 to access the Clodt site. Agreement 8-13 for 1.1 mi. of CR 44 to access the Valdinger Site all with Chesapeake Exploration.

Agreement 9-13 in Short Creek Township with Ohio Gathering LLC for 0.45 mi. of CR 23, 2.8 mi. of CR 5, 7.85 mi. of CR 13, 4.95 mi. of CR 14 and 3.3 mi. of CR 12. Commissioners questioned Crabtree as to the new requirement for an addendum on regulations for crossing county highways and was assured the documents would be included.

Crabtree also announced that the county lost .11 of a mile in the recent ODOT mileage certification dropping from 261.99 to 261.88.

He also reported that the engineer’s office is in the process of looking for a program which will track all of the road use agreements and well drilling permits in the county. The board suggested some sort of fee be assessed to offset the cost of purchasing the program.

Sheriff Myers also asked the board to transfer $80,000 from A7 to X12X01 to replace the Jail grant monies lost at the beginning of the year.

The board also approved at the recommendation of the Harrison County Bee Keeper Association a new apiary inspector for the county. Robert Hooker, former president of the Ohio Beekeepers Association will be the county inspector for 2013.

Palmer may be reached at mpalmer@timesleaderonline.com